They’re creepy and they’re kooky—and they’re here just in time for Valentine’s Day. Musical comedy “The Addams Family” will be making a stop at the Eisenhower Auditorium on Feb. 14 as part of their touring schedule. They’ll bring their all-together spookiness to the stage, and while the singing and dancing will be something the audience will surely remember, the costumes are something that will stick out, too!
The musical’s story is about Wednesday Addams who has a secret boyfriend quite, uh, unlike her family. She tells her father, Gomez, about him and begs him to not to tell her mom, Morticia, and eventually the boy and his family have dinner with the Addams’. You’ll have to see the show to find out how that goes!
“It isn’t a typical musical, it isn’t a typical play,” says Cat Lovejoy, the musical’s wardrobe supervisor. “You’re not going to cry, but you’re going to laugh.”
Costumes are as important an aspect as the rest of a musical itself. You can sing and dance but if you’re in sweatpants and a hoodie, it won’t have quite the same effect as, say, Morticia’s sweeping, cleavage-baring, black and purple mermaid gown.
She said the company received its costumes from the last touring company.
From fishnet gloves to many pairs of tights, Lovejoy is responsible for making sure every costume piece (and there are many of them) is in its rightful place and ready for the actors to make their own.
She said they are able to find costume pieces from stores online as well as Halloween stores. After all, how easy is it to find white fishnet gloves?
As for the characters in the show, she said there is a wide range of costumes, and even time periods. The Addams ancestors serve as the chorus for the show, and each come from different time periods.
She mentioned there is a 1920s flapper, as well as a saloon girl, caveman, Puritan and soldier. She said they wear white and cream or gray because, since they are ancestors, they’re ghosts and “coming out of the crypt.”
She said the actors have to be pretty self-sufficient, as they are responsible for changing their costumes. But there are plenty of people there to help, including Lovejoy.
“I like being able to be part of making it happen,” she says. “It’s nice being part of a whole organism that works together.”
If any girls think wearing one pair of tights is a pain, imagine wearing four of them! Lovejoy said most of the girls in the show wear at least four pairs of tights and everyone has gloves, whether they’re white, gray, lacy, fishnet or other patterns.
As for the Addams family itself, Lovejoy says they look a lot like the cartoon characters everyone knows.
She says the costume designer decided to add a bit of color to the main characters’ outfits. For Morticia, there are hints of purple and Wednesday has some blue. Her boyfriend’s family will look completely different, she says, because they will have plenty of color.
She said the costumes helped the actors make acting decisions most after the first dress rehearsals.
“The costumes really do inform how you act,” she says. “It was just really fun to see [the actors] be like ‘Oh, this is how I have to do this because of this costume.’”
To get ready for the show, Lovejoy says wigs, make-up and hair takes about an hour. The actors do their own make-up and have help getting their wigs on.
The make-up adds just as much to the character as the costume. She said the actor playing the Grandma is in her 30s, but is playing a 112-year-old woman.
Those who are inspired by the outfits the mysterious and spooky family wears can make their own interpretations!
“Wednesday sort of perfected the little black dress,” Lovejoy says.
Lucas has a preppy style Lovejoy says makes him look like he’s from Harry Potter with a tie and sweater she calls “adorable.” Gomez has a Spanish flair and Morticia shows a lot of cleavage, but in a good way, Lovejoy says.
Each costume shows a lot about the characters, which lends to the overall theme of the musical: be yourself.
“Be who you are and be okay with it, that’s what it’s all about,” she says. “Don’t try to change yourself for someone else. It’s a good message even if they show it in a ridiculous way.”
Photo credit: www.cpa.psu.edu